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This beautiful city walk explores the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge and the leafy tranquillity of Leigh Wood on the outskirts of Bristol. Despite a growing population more than half a million people, Bristol is an excellent city to explore on foot with some great spots where you can escape the hustle and bustle of its many shops, restaurants, bars and offices.
The Clifton Suspension Bridge certainly ticks that box. Located on the western fringe of the city overlooking the grand Georgian townhouses of Clifton village, this Grade 1 listed building is Bristol’s most recognisable landmark.
Built 150 years ago and spanning the deep trench of the Avon Gorge, this former toll bridge – designed by the great Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel – is a magnificent sight and attracts visitors from all over the world.
This walk crosses the bridge to the Leigh Woods National Nature Reserve, where you can stroll through the broadleaf woodlands on a high plateau that delivers great views across the city and beyond. You’ll stroll beneath oak and ash leaves, with carpets of bluebells in the spring and magnificent red and golden colours in autumn. There are open grassy glades too, often occupied by the resident North Devon Cattle, and plenty of places to stop for a picnic.
When you return to the city check out the nearby cathedral with its famous Norman chapterhouse, then head down to the modern Harbourside for some post-walk refreshments!
This route was voted 83rd in a 2017 ITV poll to find Britain’s Favourite Walk.
TOG VERDICT: A surprisingly secluded walk on the outskirts of a buzzing city. Once you’re explored the suspension bridge, explore Bristol’s centre too!
Nearest Train (or tube) Station(s):
Parson Street, Bristol Temple Meads